Maybe it was the holiday eating or perhaps it involved the start of a new quarter, but many UC Irvine students are ringing in the new year with resolutions to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise and to do better in school.
Taking better care of the physical body and learning is not just a UCI thing; they have always been some of the leading resolutions every year for adults of all ages. Among those resolutions, saving money, getting out of debt, quitting smoking and drinking less are also popular with UCI students and staff as well as American adults.
The tradition of the New Year’s resolution dates back to the Babylonian period, when many resolved to return borrowed goods. This year, about half the people I spoke to made one or more resolutions; that parallels the statistic which claims 50 percent of American adults make resolutions for a new year.
UCI’s resolutions ranged from exercising more to forgetting the past and quitting substance abuse. The quality of resolutions has surely changed since the Babylonian period; nonetheless, the resolutions of UCI’s students and staff members vary in intimacy and elaborateness.
At the core of second-year biomedical engineering major Nancy Tran’s resolution is the strengthening of the body, mind and soul. For the body, she plans to exercise and eat out once a week because ‘that’ll save you lots of money,’ Tran said.
For the mind, she plans to concentrate more in her studies, and for the soul, to be more considerate of others. ‘Treat others like you want to be treated,’ Tran said. ‘I think that’s a very good philosophy to live by.’
Others are simpler with their resolutions, committing themselves to a single betterment at a time.
‘To drink less,’ said Jeremy Roth, a fourth-year mechanical engineering and material science major.
‘To do better in school,’ said Mitchell Yang, a first-year biological sciences major.
‘To quit smoking,’ said David Cheng, a Gillespie Neuroscience Research staff member.
‘To not get drunk,’ said Paul Vo, a first-year biological science major, who claimed to have made the resolution while drunk.
‘To smoke a little less weed,’ said an anonymous student.
Some are undertaking more uniquely deviant and personal resolutions from that of average Joe.
‘To not think about the past,’ said Molly Davidson, a fourth-year dance major. “It’s a good one, huh?”
‘To try new things but to not be afraid to stick to things that work,’ said Jessica Pasa, a staff member in the Center of Education.
Others, though a little late, are still working on their resolutions.
Some people believe that they don’t need a date or time to suddenly make a change in their lives. According to them, change should come naturally, and if one should make a resolution because they feel it is the proper thing thing to do when the new year rolls around, that will to change is not sincere.
‘I understand quitting smoking because you’re having a baby, or because a family member dies from smoking, but I don’t understand quitting smoking just because it is a new year,’ said Howard Tsu, third-year economics major. ‘Resolutions are made to be broken.’
And indeed, resolutions are broken just as easily as they are made. Even some people I interviewed on campus took more than just moment to remember the resolutions they made just last week.
According to statistics, about 75 percent of American adults who make resolutions succeed in maintaining them past a week. About 45 percent succeed in maintaining them past six months. Three reasons for resolutions being broken were procrastination, a lack of discipline and a lack of game plan. Though half of Americans have resolutions, about 80 percent of those people do not have plans to achieve them.
As for me?
A high school teacher once told me that I, sadly, was a part of the population that fails to keep a resolution. I’m in a credit card debt, am not as healthy as I should be, and not as studious as I need to be. Therefore, my resolution is to not have any.